If the sales figures are anything to go by, Ford hit the jackpot with its new Puma crossover, which is now the UK’s sixth best-selling car, and also the most popular model in its class.
But there’s far more to the Puma than just the numbers, with this model offering a fantastic blend of a sporty driving experience, efficient engines and practicality, making it one of the cars to beat in this class.
Here are five key things you need to know about it…
It shares underpinnings with the Fiesta
If ever there was a car that was a perfect basis for a new model, it’s the Ford Fiesta, and it’s that supermini that serves as the basis for the Puma, with this crossover offering a more stylish look and increased space compared to that car.
But the key advantage of sharing plenty in common with the Fiesta is the way it drives, with Ford having a remarkable ability at making ‘ordinary’ cars fantastic behind the wheel. The Puma is no exception, as it offers far more in the way of agility and balance than any of its rivals can muster.
Efficient hybrid powertrains
Another key benefit of the Puma is the efficient mild-hybrid petrol engines, which are now available across the range, with the exception of the sporty ST.
Essentially the powertrain combines a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine with a belt-driven starter/generator that allows for energy to be recovered when braking and then stored in a small battery pack, which can then be used to take some workload from the engine.
On the Puma, power outputs of 123bhp and 153bhp are available, though the key draw is efficiency, with Ford claiming the models can return more than 50mpg with CO2 emissions of just 122g/km.
Cool MegaBox expands boot space
Every car has a hidden ‘easter egg’ and the Puma’s lies beneath the boot floor in the form of a ‘MegaBox’. In essence, this is a hard plastic-lined container that sits under the main boot, and allows for more flexible storage and usability.
It might sound a bit unnecessary, but with an impressive 80 litres of storage space beneath the floor, it’s especially practical, while also allowing for the likes of tall plants and golf clubs to be kept upright. There’s even a plug at the bottom, which means that should you have any mud or dirt in there, it can easily be washed out.
Hot ST model available
Even though the regular Puma might be great to drive, Ford has taken things a step further with the introduction of a hot ‘ST’ model. It’s the first time the nameplate has been used on a crossover or SUV in Europe, and it's definitely worthy of it, with the model being brilliant to drive and on par with many hot hatches.
This is largely thanks to the fact it’s based on the Fiesta ST, even using the same 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine that allows for a 0-60mph time of just 6.5 seconds.
Plenty of technology available
Despite being one of Ford’s more compact models, the Puma is still packed to the rafters with technology.
There’s a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that’s fitted to all but the standard version, while plush ST-Line Vignale models even come with massaging seats – a feature usually restricted to luxury cars.
Standard equipment is generous across the range, though, with even the standard Titanium version coming with keyless start, climate control, a heated windscreen and an eight-inch touchscreen.
The Ford Puma is on sale now, with prices starting from £22,045.Enquire on a new Ford Puma